A “Tasteful” Getaway Experience at The Cook Academy in Burlington, Vermont

Some hotels boast excellent city views or state of the art fitness equipment, but how many can say they offer on-site cooking classes? Very few, but The Essex, Vermont’s Culinary Resort & Spa, is one of them.

Getting to Know The Cook Academy

The Essex is a charming getaway for anyone, but those with a particular affection for all things culinary will fall in love with the resort. Delicious dining, garden strolls, and cuisine-focused decor, guests are offered every opportunity to have a unique culinary adventure. Our focus today, though, is to better acquaint you with the gem of The Essex, the Cook Academy.

What is The Cook Academy?

One doesn’t need to be a chef by profession to learn advanced cooking skills. If you have a passion for cooking, then the Cook Academy is for you. Located in Burlington, Vermont, at The Essex, Cook Academy is a cooking school. Every class is hands-on and meant for cooks of any level. Each class is small and personalized, led by a skilled professional chef. There are a variety of class topics and themes, and each class is about three hours long.

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How Did The Essex Come to Have a Cooking School?

Often guests wonder and ask how the resort came to have a cooking school, and the answer is fascinating. The Essex used to be part of the New England Culinary Institute, and though it no longer is, some of the original culinary features were kept, such as the teaching kitchens are the same ones used in Cook Academy today. Cook Academy has had a few renovations and updates over the years, but the heart and soul of it is the same!

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Who Are the Culinary Geniuses Involved?

Nearly every course at Cook Academy is taught by either Lisa Ruoff or Dante Trisciuzzi. Lisa has over 20 years in the culinary industry and has owned and operated three restaurants. Eventually, she moved to Vermont and decided that she prefers teaching folks how to cook overrunning a kitchen.

Dante is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy and specializes in French cuisine and bread sciences. He has worked under chef Rick Vargas. After running the kitchen at La Bodega in Sonoma, CA, wine, cheese, and food pairing became great passions.

Lisa and Dante offer different expertise, skills, and personalities, and both are extremely passionate about teaching others! No matter which instructor you have, we know you’ll have an incredible culinary experience.

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What Type of Classes Are Offered?

Nearly each Cook Academy class include a three or four-course meal, which participants get to eat! Participants also get to take home the recipes and, of course, their new skills. The specific course offerings vary throughout the year, it all depends on the season and availability of each ingredient. Classes that have taken place in the past include Italian classic, winter BBQ, a taste of Austria, and many more!

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Favorite Cook Academy Skills

While cooking at home, do you ever wish you knew how to do “it” like a chef? Students of the cooking school sure do, and that’s one of the reasons the classes are so popular. Students leave with useful cooking skills such as fine chopping, chopping fresh herbs, making pasta from scratch, classic sauce making, and more.

How to Plan a Cook Academy Adventure

Making your way to the Cook Academy is pretty darn simple. Take a look at the calendar of upcoming classes, see the availability of the class, or classes, you’d like to attend, and then book your stay at The Essex!

Whether you’re looking for a solo culinary getaway, or a fun romantic weekend away with your sweetheart, The Essex is a “tasteful” place to visit!

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